The Very Best Xbox One Exclusives Of The Last Five Years

Note: This article was updated in January of 2019.

The Microsoft Xbox One platform has a wide catalog of video games to pick up and enjoy right now. However, if you’re looking for some titles that aimed to be a system seller then you’ll want to take a look at our list below. In this particular editorial list, we’re going to showcase some great Xbox One exclusive titles that you can purchase right now.

With that said, we’re using the term “exclusive” a bit loosely. Microsoft’s Play Anywhere featured service allows most Microsoft Xbox One exclusives to also work on the Windows 10 platform. That’s not always the case for all these titles below and while most of the games are available on the PC platform, we’re going to claim these titles are more console exclusive.

Without further ado, here are the top Microsoft Xbox One exclusives that have released in the last five years.


#16 Super Lucky’s Tale

  • Developer: Playful Corp.
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studos

Developed by Playful Corp. Super Lucky’s Tale is a 3D platform video game title that follows an adventure of a fox named Lucky. Similar to old Nintendo 64 style 3D platformers, players will be going across obstacles, battling enemies and collecting coins among other precious items.

This is a lighthearted video game title and one that offers players to find their own ways around the levels. Likewise, the game is featured in the Play Anywhere program allowing players who have purchased the game on Xbox One to also unlock a copy for the Windows 10 platform.


#15 State of Decay 2

  • Developer: Undead Labs
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Overall, State of Decay 2 is a zombie-survival game that lets players have their own unique story. While battling zombies is very much a key aspect of the upcoming title release, players are encouraged to work together in setting up their own community that’s able to successfully take out the undead threat.

The previous installment release saw a number of different zombie subtypes which had unique abilities about them. For instance, certain zombies would make more noise to attract a horde while others could be larger and more powerful to defeat.


#14 Sea of Thieves

  • Developer: Rare
  • Publisher: Microsoft

Sea of Thieves is an action-adventure title that is centered around pirates. Players will take to the open seas with their cooperative crew as they search for hidden treasure and taking out other pirate crews that show up along the way.

This is an MMO game where players will consistently run into each other throughout their various adventures. Combat will take place both in ships and on land as well, giving players the full pirate experience. Players will also be able to attend safe-zones where they can trade, hire on new crew or even dabble into the black market goods.


#13 D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die

  • Developer: Access Games
  • Publisher: Microsoft

D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is an episodic video game title that follows David Young. Once a Boston police narcotics officer, David has turned into a private detective after the death of his wife.

Years later David has a new secret weapon that will allow him to catch those guilty for the murder. Players will find that David can use a supernatural ability that will allow him to go back in time though this is only possible if he touches specific items. These items are what’s left behind from his wife and its with these mementos that he can go back and investigate just who is responsible for the heinous incident.


#12 Quantum Break

  • Developer: Remedy Entertainment
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Quantum Break by development team Remedy Entertainment is part third-person shooter and part live-action series. The story of Quantum Break revolves around a fictional university within the United States. After a time travel experiment goes awry three present witnesses become stricken with time manipulating abilities.

For instance, our main protagonist, Jack Joyce, has the unique ability to stop time while Quantum Break’s antagonist Paul Serene holds the ability to see into the future allowing him to decide on present day choices.

Players find themselves being hunted down by a corporation founded by Paul Serene but in order for players to get the full story and background of what is going on within Quantum Break, they’ll have to turn towards the live-action series. A total of four episodes, running less than thirty minutes long, will showcase more information of what is going on within the story while also allowing players to manipulate how the narrative continues. At the end of each episode, viewers will be able to select a choice, one that will affect how the live action series continues along with the game.


#11 Halo Wars 2

  • Developer: 343 Industries, Creative Assembly
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

The sequel to Halo Wars, Halo War 2 released back in 2017. With this installment of the Halo franchise, Halo Wars 2 takes place nearly thirty years after the events of Halo Wars and shortly after the events of Halo 5: Guardians.

With the Spirit of Fire declared lost with all hands, the crew emerges from their cryosleep at the Ark. It’s here that the crew runs into a new Alien faction known as the Banished, a group that broke away from the Covenant after their demise.


#10 Sunset Overdrive

  • Developer: Insomniac Games
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Sunset Overdrive is a vibrant and colorful third-person action-adventure title. In the game, players are tossed into the not so distant future of 2027 where the world has become a dystopia in control by mutants. Within the game you take the role of a FizzCo employee who is tasked with cleaning up the mess in the city after the launch of a new energy drink developed by the mutants.

There is a big focus on speed and parkour movements as you battle against enemies while traversing the city. Currently there is no word of a sequel in the works. Instead, the developers have expressed an interest in crafting Sunset Overdrive 2 though they would require a new publisher.


#9 Halo 5: Guardians

  • Developer: 343 Industries
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Halo 5: Guardians is currently the latest main installment to the Halo franchise. Under the new development team, 343 Industries, fans of the franchise was given a slightly different take to a Halo game. Instead of the main focus being Master Chief, players were split between our beloved hero and a new team of Spartan’s.

It seemed that Master Chief had suddenly gone rogue leaving a new team to track and discover what is going on with the famed supersoldier. There was also some slight changes to the gameplay mechanics and while this title was received with positive reviews, the game wasn’t the most welcomed installment of the series for longtime fans.

With that said, if you have yet to try the game out then we recommend giving it a go today.


#8 Rare Replay

  • Developer: Rare
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

If you enjoyed the old school Rare developed video games then you should definitely give Rare Replay a purchase. This is one of those few select titles that’s not available on the Windows 10 platform.

Essentially, Rare Replay is a compilation disc that contains thirty video game titles that were developed under Rare. You’ll find video games such as Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and Grabbed by the Ghoulies. Decades worth of Rare video games are included making it a great bang for your buck purchase.


#7 Gears of War 4

  • Developer: The Coalition
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

The Gears of War franchise has been popular since it first debuted on the Xbox 360. Years later the game series received its fourth main installment that followed years after the events of Gears of War 3.

Players this time around took control of J.D. Fenix, the son of Marcus Fenix, who is a member of the COG army. With the world out of fossil fuels and new terrors lurk outside of city sanctuaries, COG must continue to keep humanity safe. However, new rebellious groups seeks a world that is rid of the COG reign.


#6 Halo: The Master Chief Collection

  • Developer: 343 Industries
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Bungie really created a hit when they first released Halo: Combat Evolved. With the game franchise under the care of 343 Industries we had received a remasetered collection known as Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

In this collection, players will receive Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and lastly Halo 4 where players will once again fight back against the alien threat towards humanity.


#5 Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition

  • Developer: Double Helix Games, Iron Galaxy Studios, Rare, Microsoft Studios
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Killer Instinct is a classic fighting title that has been around for decades. The video game got a new resurgence back in 2013 where it was announced that a new free-to-play title would be heading to the Microsoft Xbox One.

While the game launched more than five years ago, there is new seasons that helped keep the game fresh over the years with even a retail version of title launching in 2014. This reboot of the Killer Instinct franchise brought back classic fighters from the past installments along with brand new characters.

However, this is still a traditional combo-based fighting which is perfect for fans of other popular fighting-based video game franchises.


#4 Forza Motorsport 7

  • Developer: Turn 10 Studios
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

While Sony has the Gran Turismo series, Microsoft holds their own beloved racing series, Forza. Developed by Turn 10 Studios, Forza Motorsport 7 is the latest installment within the main franchise, players will have over 700 vehicles to choose from with over 32 locations to race within. Likewise, this particular installment has a dynamic weather system along with the ability to customize a few components to the race such as the driver who is behind the wheel. This is a more realistic series of racers from the Froza lineup and as a result, some gamers may be a bit turned off. If you’re looking for the more arcade vibe style racing game then we suggest looking towards the Horizon lineup such as the latest installment, Forza Horizon 4.


#3 Cuphead

  • Developer: StudioMDHR
  • Publisher: StudioMDHR

Cuphead, developed by StudioMDHR Entertainment, is a run and gun platform indie title. Overall, the narrative follows Cuphead and his brother Mugman, as they end up making a terrible bet against the devil. Losing the bet, Cuphead and Mugman are forced to give their souls to the devil, but it seems that our protagonist duo can save themselves if they go out and collect debts owed to the devil.

The devil has a number of souls that are owed to him by other sorrowful cartoon characters. If Cuphead and Mugman can go out and collect all the souls then the devil may just allow them to keep their own souls in return.

This is a perfect game to play with a friend as the majority of the game is filled with bosses to defeat. Each boss can be difficult making players to remember their moves and dodge attacks otherwise you’ll find yourself restarting the boss fight.


#2 Ori and the Blind Forest

  • Developer: Moon Studios
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Ori and the Blind Forest is a platform-adventure title by developers Moon Studios. Within the game, players will follow a story with Ori who is a white guardian spirit and Sein, known as the eyes of the Forest Spirit Tree.

Within the game, Ori and Sein are out to save the forest from the hostile enemies. However, the only means of saving this forest is through recovering the light of three elements known as Waters, Winds, and Warmth.

Taking inspiration from The Lion King and The Iron Giant, Moon Studios aimed to deliver a touching narrative with classic platform titles such as the Metroid series.


#1 Forza Horizon 4

  • Developer: Playground Games
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios

The Forza series, in general, does fantastic in the market though that statement is especially true with their Horizon line. Forza Horizon 4 will still follow the same feel and tone as the past installments though it will be taking place in a fictionalized United Kingdom. With over four hundred licensed cars, players can race among each other through the variety of intense high-speed tracks. Likewise, there are servers that will support up to seventy-two players making races filling and competitive.

As mentioned the Horizon series from Forza always does well and the fourth installment is the latest release. If you enjoy racing video games then chances are you already have this game safely tucked away in your collection. However, if you’re not very fond of racing titles then you may still want to at least give this game a try.